PLATTSBURGH — The family of Noah Serrano, the Stafford Middle School seventh-grader apparently struck by crossing guard Maurice Daniels in videos that have circulated social media this week, is pressing charges against him, Noah's father, Michael Serrano, told The Press-Republican.
"He’s a little worried to go to school but he’s alright," Michael said Wednesday.
Noah, 12, just transferred to the Plattsburgh City School District two to three weeks ago, his father said.
Michael added that his son is not used to crossing guards and has always gone to school in Chazy or Beekmantown, where he would either take a bus or be dropped off at school by his parents.
Noah and Daniels have interacted before, Michael said, referencing another video posted on Facebook in which Daniels is heard shouting at Noah to get back on the sidewalk as he makes his way to the curb along Oak Street near Express Lane.
According to Michael, Daniels had summoned Noah to him while traffic was stopped.
On Tuesday, Noah went to stand where the students usually wait to cross and apparently stepped on a yellow line, which is on the sidewalk, Michael said.
He claimed Daniels started shouting as soon as Noah stepped up there, at which point other kids, remembering previous encounters between the two, started recording.
"It took 30 seconds for this to happen," Michael said. "People are saying the video was edited — it was not. That's where it started and where it ended."
Right before the apparent slap, Daniels pauses after saying, "You understand me?" as Noah is seen tugging at his face mask.
Michael said, in that moment, Noah gave a nervous chuckle as he pulled his mask over his nose.
"Apparently, he didn’t answer fast enough."
Michael claimed he was told any arrest will take time as it is a juvenile-related matter.
Daniels could not be reached for comment.
Michael said it is crazy that people on social media are trying to make the incident about racism, as Daniels is Black.
"Noah's a mixed child and I'm pretty dark-skinned," Michael continued. "We taught Noah, we preached all the time to love everyone, no matter their skin color, sexual orientation."
He wishes social media was not involved.
"I didn’t want that at all. I just want my kid to go back to school and feel normal."
Michael added that he can't believe how people are trying to dismiss the assault of a minor.
"At the end of the day, if the kids were goofing off in some kind of way — which he (Noah) wasn’t that day — you still don’t assault a child."
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